Augustine of Hippo

Augustine of Hippo was born in North Africa in the mid-300s AD. His mother was a Christian, and she raised him as a Christian.

Augustine first went to school in Carthage, and later in Rome.

Augustine was interested in the Manichaeism branch of Christianity. Manichaeans divide the world into two: the good and the bad, where God is always fighting the Devil.

Augustine returned to Africa to be the bishop of Hippo, a town near his hometown. He wrote a book, The Confessions, about why he had converted to Christianity.

Augustine received the terrible news that the city of Rome had been attacked and sacked by the Visigoths. People were saying that Rome had been destroyed because the Romans had converted to Christianity and forgotten the old gods, Jupiter and Mars. Augustine was very upset by this. He knew that the Christian god was the one true god. Augustine asked: Why had Rome been destroyed, just as everyone was finally converting to Christianity?

Augustine devoted most of the rest of his life to writing a book that would answer this question. His main argument was that God wanted the things of this earth to be destroyed so that the new world could come. The City of Man (Rome) was destroyed to make things ready for the City of God (Heaven). Meanwhile, everyone should convert to Christianity quickly, so that they could go to heaven at the end of the world.

Augustine’s view helped many people deal with the fact that the Roman Empire was collapsing around them. His book became very popular.

Augustine died in 430 AD. He was happy, because he believed that when the Vandals conquered Hippo, it was another sign that the Kingdom of God was coming soon.

Source: Augustine of Hippo
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